FONDAZIONE PRADA OSSERVATORIO PRESENTS “THE BLACK IMAGE CORPORATION” BY THEASTER GATES
Fondazione Prada presents “The Black Image Corporation”, an exhibition conceived by Theaster Gates, from 20 September 2018 to 14 January 2019 at the Osservatorio venue in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan.
The project explores the fundamental legacy of Johnson Publishing Company archives, which feature more than 4 million images and have contributed to shape the aesthetic and cultural languages of the contemporary African American identity, through its two iconic magazines: Jet and Ebony.
Their visual language reflected a mid-century modern aesthetic filtered through the lens of black life. This wide collection of images helps to illuminate the richness of African American professional codes, modes of dress, social structures, domestic lives and forms of beauty and glamour.
Theaster Gates has conceived a coral and participatory exhibition focused on the works of two photographers: Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton. As stated by Gates, “for this show, I hope to tease out the creation of female iconic moments by Sleet and Sutton and offer small forays into the lives of everyday people through never-before-seen images from the Johnson Collection. The archives speak about beauty and black female power. Today it seems to me a good time to dig into the visual lexicon of the American book and show images that are rarely seen outside of my community. I wanted to celebrate women of all kinds and especially black women”.
“The Black Image Corporation” is associated with the exhibition “A Johnson Publishing Story” organized by Rebuild Foundation and on view at the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago until 30 September 2018.
Fondazione Prada – Osservatorio
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Milan